Low doses of fish oil may help reduce the number of seizures experienced by those with epilepsy that no longer respond to drugs, according to research conducted at the University of California.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, surveyed 24 people with epilepsy that could not be treated with traditional drugs.
The team found that, compared to a placebo, the low-dose of fish oil (about 1,080 mg per day) produced a 33.6% reduction in epileptic episodes.
"We don't completely understand why low dose works and higher doses do not, but there is evidence from animal studies that high doses are counterproductive," said lead author Christopher DeGiorgio.
"The response to fish oil at low dose for both seizures and depression has substantial implications for use, given the common propensity for individuals to self-dose with an 'a little helps, a lot should help much more' thought process."
However, he added that low-dose fish oil may be a safe, low-cost way to simultaneously reduce seizures and improve cardiovascular health in people with epilepsy.